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Talent scouts to the rescue

Published on Friday, 04 May 2012
Simon Bradberry
Managing director, Resource Solutions Asia-Pacific, Robert Walters Group
Photo: Berton Chang

Part of the Robert Walters Group, Resource Solutions is a leading provider of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) packages. Demand for these services - which largely involve sending in a team of professionals to handle a company's recruitment functions - is on the increase. Simon Bradberry, the firm's managing director for Asia-Pacific, offers us his take.

How would you describe RPO?

RPO is recruitment process outsourcing and, in a nutshell, is where an organisation hands over part or all of its recruitment processes to a third party.

I actually think the phrase "RPO" is very misleading.

It's a terrible description of what organisations like Resource Solutions do, because it suggests that it's purely the process of recruitment that gets outsourced, and that isn't really what happens at all.

It's a much broader range of services - everything to do with recruitment - that gets outsourced.

What specifically does this range of services include?

The key things that we offer are a technology platform and an account-management service to handle the full interaction.

This can be anything in the life cycle of the recruitment process, right from the requisition - which we manage by making sure the requirements are fully understood and detailed - through to the core recruitment process itself.

This includes everything from shortlisting candidates, to working with line managers, to organising interviews.

The selection of the candidates, however, always sits with client, especially when it comes to permanent recruitment.

Once a candidate is selected, we then start to work on the pre-employment screening and referencing, as well as the on-boarding process.

So it's really the full recruitment life cycle, not just the simple transaction.

Are you involved in other parts of the human resources function?

We wouldn't really do that sort of thing for permanent staff. But for non-permanent, we do offer such services.

What we could do, for example, is manage all of a company's temporary and contract workers, manage the invoicing for them, manage the time capture for them, manage the approvals, and manage the costing.

How do your services in Asia differ from those offered elsewhere?

In terms of what we're going to offer, they don't differ.

The reason they don't differ is because the trend among senior HR [human resources] directors is to have globally consistent services wherever possible.

So the demand from clients is to be able to deliver the same breadth of services to their internal customer base, as well as to clients applying to them in every location.

So we are going to make sure we can offer the same suite of services.

What kind of companies are you targeting as potential clients?

We're looking at both commerce organisations as well as financial services organisations - historically, our client base has been spread between the two.

I think that the sorts of organisations where RPO works best are those where people are their most important asset.

They tend to be service organisations, because with service organisations, people tend to be their main asset and therefore getting their recruitment process right, and investing in it, is particularly important.

Are you planning to make any new hires as you grow the business?

I am in the process or recruiting now. Some will be internal transfers, others local hires.

The positions include on-site recruitment consultants, co-ordinators and account managers.

What are you looking for in terms of skills and experience?

They would have to be people that are heavily client-focused. They would need to show a history of being able to deliver very high-quality services, and they would also need to have good attention to detail. And it's a given, of course, that they would need to be an expert in their area of recruitment.

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